Politics Past, Politics Present: 

Some Notes on the Uses of Anthropology 
in Understanding the New States

 

(by Clifford Geertz)

 

 

I

 

In recent years, the main meeting ground of the various branches of learning which in some uncertain way make up the social sciences has been the study of the so-called Third World: the forming nations and tottering states of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. In this enigmatical setting, anthropology, sociology, political science, history, economics, psychology, as well as that oldest of our disciplines, soothsaying, have found themselves in the unfamiliar position of dealing severally with essentially the same body of data.

 

The experience has not always been a comfortable one. The meeting ground has often turned into a battleground, and the lines of professional demarcation have hardened: as Englishmen abroad are often more British than in London, so economists abroad are often more econometrical than at M.I.T. Then, too, a few of the more enthusiastic have abandoned their professions almost altogether for a kind of Alexandrian eclecticism which has produced some very strange hippogriffs indeed: Freud, Marx, and Margaret Mead in one ungainly package.

 

But the general effect has certainly been salutary. The sense of intellectual self-sufficiency, that peculiar conceptual and methodological arrogance which comes from dealing too long and too insistently with a pocket universe all one's own (the American business cycle; French party politics; class mobility in Sweden; the kinship system of some upcountry African tribe), and which is perhaps the most formidable enemy of a general science of society, has been seriously, and I think permanently, shaken. The closed society has been as thoroughly exploded for most of those who have studied the new nations as it has for most of those who live in them. It is coming at last to dawn upon even the most isolationist-minded of such scholars that theirs is not only a special science, but a special science which cannot even function without a great deal of help from other special sciences previously despised. Here, anyway, the notion that we are all members of one another has made a certain measure of progress.

 

Among the more striking examples of this convergence from several directions upon the same body of material is the revival of interest in the structure and functioning of traditional states. In the past several years the need to develop a general political science of preindustrial societies in order to have, as the sociologist Frank Sutton has put it, "a base point from which to understand the transitional societies which crowd the present scene" has been felt with increasing intensity on a wide variety of quarters.1 As the quarters have been various, so too have the responses. But Max Weber's half-century-old essay on patrimonialism in Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft is no longer the "isolated monument" that Sutton, writing only a decade or so ago, then rightly called it. It is now but one among a whole set of discourses, some more monumental than others and a few too monumental altogether, on the nature of government in, to have a word for them, peasant societies:

 

societies with too many resemblances to our own for us to stigmatize them as primitive and too few for us to celebrate them as modern.

 

To simplify, there have been four major lines of attack developing over the last decade or so on this question of the nature of traditional politics.

 

First, there has been the revival, largely in the hands of Karl Wittfogel, of Marx's old notion of an Asiatic mode of production, now interpreted to be hydraulic agriculture, and of a radically despotic state-"total terror, total submission, total loneliness," in Wittfogel's broadsheet rhetoric--regarded as causally reflective of it.2

 

Second, there has been the work by social anthropologists, most of them British and virtually all of them Africanists, on the so-called segmentary states--states in which kinship groups and kinship loyalties play a central role--and which, quite contrary to the monolithic view of traditional states that emerges from the Wittfogel approach, sees such states as delicate balances among scattered centers of semi-independent power, now building up under the guidance of tribal myth and civic ritual toward some apical point, now sliding away into clan jealousy, local rivalry, and fraternal intrigue.3

 

Third, there has been a renewed emphasis on what might be called comparative feudalism, on the question of whether feudalism is an historical category with one, itself rather unhomogeneous, instance, the European, or a scientific category with many at least roughly similar instances. Here, the motive figure is beyond doubt Marc Bloch, the depth of whose impact upon the social sciences is still not fully appreciated, even by many of those upon whom the impact has been exercised.4 But this interest is also, of course, the main continuation of the Weberian tradition, and in the hands of a sociologist like Eisenstadt with his interest in the role of bureaucracy in early empires, or of an economic historian like Karl Polanyi with his interest in the political management of commercial activity in such empires, it widens out beyond feudalism proper to concern itself with the range of authority structures found in societies in which feudalization is only one of a number, but a limited number, of institutional possibilities.5

 

And fourth, there has been the reconsideration among prehistorians --archeologists mostly, but some orientalists and ethnologists as well-of the size and scope of ancient states and of the developmental stages through which those states seem to have passed. Maya, Teotihuacan, Indus, Angkor, Madjapahit, Inca, Mesopotamia, Egypt--all the magical names--stand less these days for glittering bronze-age barbarisms born adult out of Gordon Childe "Urban Revolution" and more for extended, gradualistic developmental cycles, some of them similar, some of them different. Or, rather, they stand for phases, momentary ones often, in such cycles; phases which may have been both less grandiose than their legends proclaim or their architectural remains seem at first glance to indicate, and more complexly related to the material conditions upon which they rested than Marxist theorists, even revisionist Marxist theorists, usually imagine.6

 

Anthropologists have been deeply involved in all four of these lines of attack upon the nature of government in peasant societies. Two of them--the study of segmentary states and of the developmental cycles of prehistorical states--have been almost exclusively anthropological. But Wittfogel's theories have had an enormous impact as well. We have had applications of them by anthropologists to Tibet, the Valley of Mexico, the Pueblos of the Southwestern United States, and certain parts of Africa. The comparative-institutions approach has been less frequently pursued, partly because Weber tends to frighten anthropologists, but his fine Germanic hand can be seen quite clearly in a number of recent studies of some of the more developed of black African states --Buganda, Busoga, Fulani, Ethiopia, Ashanti.

 

In becoming thus involved, anthropologists have, as I have suggested, been drawn willy-nilly into an enterprise far wider than the confines of their own discipline and so find themselves faced with the unforeseen question of what, qua anthropologists rather than as self-made sociologists, historians, political scientists or whatever, they have to offer to this wider enterprise. The easy answer to this, still preferred in certain circles, is data, preferably anomalous data which will demolish some sociologist's high-wrought theory. But to accept that answer is to reduce anthropology to a kind of spiteful ethnography, capable, like some literary censor, of disapproving of intellectual constructions but not of creating, or perhaps even of understanding, any.

 

With respect to Professor Sutton's large vision of "a general comparative political science of pre-industrial societies," I, for one, think it can contribute more than that. And in order to indicate (certainly not, in the space available to me here, to establish) what sort of thing that "more" might be, I want to do two things which are quintessentially anthropological: to discuss a curious case from a distant land; and to draw from that case some conclusions of fact and method more far-reaching than any such isolated example can possibly sustain.

 

 

II

 

The distant land is Bali; the curious case the state as it existed there during the nineteenth century. Though in formal terms part of the Netherlands East Indies from, I suppose you would have to say, about 1750 on, Bali was in any realistic sense a part of the Dutch empire only after the invasion of the Southern part of the island in 1906. For all intents and purposes, the Balinese state in the nineteenth century was an indigenous structure; and although, like any social institution, it had changed over the course of the centuries--not the least as a result of the Dutch presence in Java, it had done so but slowly and marginally.

 

To simplify my description of what, in fact, totally resists simplification, I shall first discuss the cultural foundations of the state--the beliefs and values, for the most part religious ones, which animated it, gave it direction, meaning, and form; and second, I shall discuss the social structural arrangements, the political instruments, in terms of which it attempted, with but intermittent success, to sustain such direction and achieve such form. This separation between ideas and institutions will later turn out not to have been so merely pragmatic as it looks, however, but to have been the very axis of my argument.

 

In connection with the cultural foundations of the state, let me present briefly three Balinese notions of what, speaking now in the ethnographic present, supralocal politics are all about. The first of these I shall call the doctrine of the exemplary center; the second, the concept of sinking status; and the third, the expressive conception of politics-the conviction that the principal instrumentalities of rule lie less in the techniques of administration than in the arts of the theatre.

 

The doctrine of the exemplary center is in essence a theory of the nature and basis of sovereignty. This theory holds that the court-and-capital is at once a microcosm of supernatural order--"an image," as Robert Heine-Geldern has put it, "of the universe on a smaller scale"--and the material embodiment of political order.7 It is not just the nucleus, the engine, or the pivot of the state: it is the state.

 

And this curious equation of the seat of rule with the dominion of rule is more than a passing metaphor, it is a statement of a ruling political idea: namely, that by the mere act of providing a model, a paragon, a faultless image of civilized existence, the court shapes the world around it into at least a rough facsimile of its own excellence. The ritual life of the court, and in fact the life of the court generally, is thus paradigmatic, not merely reflective of social order. What it is reflective of, as the priests declare, is the supernatural order, "the timeless Indian world of the gods" upon which men should, in strict proportion to their status, seek to pattern their lives.8

 

The crucial task of legitimation, the reconciliation of this political metaphysic with the actual distribution of power in classical Bali, was effected by means of a myth; characteristically enough a colonizing myth. In 1343, the armies of the great East Javanese kingdom of Madjapahit were supposed to have defeated, near a place called Gelgel, those of "the king of Bali," a supernatural monster with the head of a pig--a surpassing event in which the Balinese see the source of virtually their entire civilization, even (as, with but a handful of exceptions, they regard themselves as descendents of the Javanese invaders, not the ur-Balinese defenders) of themselves. Like the myth of "The Founding Fathers" in the United States, the myth of "The Madjapahit Conquest" became the origin tale by means of which actual relations of command and obedience were explained and justified.

 

Whatever scattered elements of genuine historicity this legend may have aside (and I have in any case given only the most schematized summary of what is a very involved and multiversioned tale indeed), it expresses in the concrete images of a just-so story the Balinese view of their political development. In Balinese eyes, the foundation of a Javanese court at Gelgel (where, it is held, the palace was designed to mirror in exact detail the palace of that most exemplary of exemplary centers, Madjapahit itself) created not just a center of power--that had existed before--but a standard of civilization. The Madjapahit Conquest was considered the great watershed of Balinese history because it cut off the ancient Bali of animal barbarism from the renascent Bali of aesthetic elegance and liturgical splendor. The transfer of the capital (and the dispatch of a Javanese noble, draped with magical paraphernalia, to inhabit it) was the transfer of a civilization, the establishment of a court which in the very act of reflecting divine order generated human order.

 

This reflection and this ordering were not, however, conceived to have maintained their purity and their force until the nineteenth century, but rather to have clouded and weakened as time passed. Despite the fact that they are both in a sense "colonial" myths, beginning with settlement from more cultured foreign shores, the Balinese conception of their political history does not, like the American, present a picture of the forging of unity out of an original diversity, but the dissolution of an original unity into a growing diversity; not a relentless progress toward the good society, but a gradual fading from view of a classic model of perfection.

 

This fading is conceived to have taken place both over space and through time. The notion, certainly incorrect, is that during the Gelgel period (from about 1300 to about 1700) Bali was ruled from a single capital, but that after that period a series of revolts and fissions took place leading to the establishment of capitals in each of the major regions as lesser members of the royal house fled to them to set up shop as exemplary rulers on their own. In turn, splinters from these splinters led to tertiary capitals in the regions of the various secondary capitals, and so on, if not quite ad infinitum, very nearly so.

 

Details aside, the final (that is, nineteenth century) result was an acrobat's pyramid of "kingdoms" of varying degrees of substantial autonomy and effective power, the main lords of Bali holding the paramount lord upon their shoulders and standing in turn upon the shoulders of the lords whose status was derivative for their own as theirs was from him, and so on down the line. The exemplary center among exemplary centers was still Gelgel, or rather its direct heir, Klungkung, its radiance dimming, naturally, as it diffused through this progressively coarser medium.

 

More than that, however, its own luster weakened as its pristine concentration of charisma, brought over as a package from Java, diffused out into these lesser centers. The general picture is one of an overall decline in status and spiritual power, not only of peripheral lines as they move away from the core of the ruling class, but of the core itself as the peripheral lines move away from it. Through the course of its development the exemplary force of the once unitary Balinese state weakened at its heart as it thinned at its edges. Or so the Balinese think; and it is this dying-fire view of history, which permeates actually into the very corners of Balinese society, that I refer to as the concept of sinking status.

 

Yet this was not felt to be an inevitable deterioration, a predestined decline from a golden age. For the Balinese, the decline was the way history had happened to happen, not the way it had had to happen. And the efforts of men, and especially of their spiritual and political leaders, ought consequently to be directed neither toward reversing it (which as events are incorrigible is impossible) nor celebrating it (which as it amounted to a series of retreats from an ideal would be pointless) but rather toward nullifying it, toward re-expressing directly, immediately, and with the greatest possible force and vividness the cultural paradigm by which the men of Gelgel and Madjapahit had in their time guided their lives. As Gregory Bateson has pointed out, the Balinese view of the past is not, in the proper sense of the term, really historical at all. For all their explanatory myth-making, the Balinese search the past not so much for the causes of the present as for the standard by which to judge it, for the unchanging pattern upon which the present ought properly to be modeled but, which through accident, ignorance, indiscipline, or neglect, it so often fails to follow.

 

This almost aesthetic correction of the present on the basis of what the past had at one point been, the lords sought to effect through the holding of great ceremonial tableaux. From the most petty to the most high they were continuously trying to establish, each at his own level, a more truly exemplary center, which if it could not match or even approach Gelgel in brilliance (and a few of the more ambitious hoped even for that) could at least seek to imitate it ritually and so re-create, to some degree, the radiant image of civilization the classic state had embodied and postclassic history had obscured.

 

The expressive nature of the Balinese state, and of the political life it supported, was apparent through the whole of its known history, for it was always pointed, not toward tyranny, whose systematic concentration of power it was hopelessly incompetent to effect, not even very methodically toward government, which it pursued indifferently and even hesitantly, but rather toward spectacle, toward ceremony, toward the public dramatization of the ruling obsessions of Balinese culture: social inequality and status pride. It was a theatre-state in which the kings and princes were the impresarios, the priests the directors, the peasantry the supporting cast, stage crew, and audience. The stupendous cremations, teeth-filings, temple dedications, the pilgrimages and blood sacrifices, mobilizing hundreds, even thousands of people and great quantities of wealth, were not means to political ends, they were the ends themselves, they were what the state was for. Court ceremonialism was the driving force of court politics. Mass ritual was not a device to shore up the state; the state was a device for the enactment of mass ritual. To govern was not so much to choose as to perform. Ceremony was not form but substance. Power served pomp, not pomp power.

 

Turning to the social framework which was designed to support this effort but in fact acted more to undercut it, I shall have to be even more ruthless in reducing facts to their shadows, for classical Balinese political institutions were about as complicated as such institutions can get and still function. But the main point to grasp about the Balinese state as a concrete structure of authority is that, far from conducing toward the centralization of power, it conduced, and mightily, toward its dispersion. Very few political elites can have as intensely sought loyalty by means so ingeniously designed to produce treachery as did the Balinese.

In the first place, the elite itself was, as I have indicated, not an organized ruling class, but a crowd of intensely competitive sovereigns, or rather would-be sovereigns. Even noble lineages, the various royal houses which formed the various courts, were not solidary units but were faction-ridden factions, collections of sublineages and sub-sublineages each intent on weakening the others to its own profit.

 

In the second place, most effective government in the proper sense of the term was local. Hamlets not only had written constitutions, popular councils, and executive arms, but they resisted, quite effectively, court participation in local affairs. Irrigation was in the hands of a separate, also local, corporate body, of which there were hundreds over the countryside; and rather than leading to the development of a centralized bureaucracy to manage waterworks this system effectively precluded the emergence of such a bureaucracy. Local lineages, temple congregations, voluntary groups were equally autonomous, equally jealous of their rights vis-ř-vis both one another and the state.

 

In the third place, the structural ties between the state (that is, any particular court) and this complex of local institutions (the "village," if you will) were themselves multiple and noncoordinate. The three main obligations laid by the gentry on the peasantry--military-ritual support, land rent, and taxation--were not fused but distributed among three different sorts of ties. A man might well owe ritual and military support to one lord, render rent to a second, and pay taxes to yet a third. Even worse, such ties were not, for the most part, territorially concentrated, so a man and his neighbor, who might well be his brother, could, and often did, owe political allegiance to different lords.

 

But to break this off before we disappear into the enchanted woods altogether, the point is that supralocal political organization in Bali did not consist in a neat set of hierarchically organized sovereign states, sharply demarcated from one another and engaged in "foreign relations" across well-drawn frontiers. Still less did it consist in any overall domination by a "single-centered apparatus state" under an absolute despot, "hydraulic" or otherwise. What it consisted in was an extended field of highly dissimilar political ties, thickening into nodes of varying size and solidity at strategic points on the landscape and then thinning out again to connect, in a marvelously convolute way, virtually everything with everything else.

 

The struggle at each point in this diverse and mobile field was more for men, for their deference, their support and their personal loyalty, than it was for land. Political power was embodied less in property than in people, was more a matter of the accumulation of prestige than of territory. The disagreements among the various princedoms were virtually never concerned with border problems but with delicate questions of mutual status and most especially with right to mobilize particular bodies of men, even particular men, for state ritual and (what was really the same thing) warfare.

 

Korn relates an anecdote concerning South Celebes, where political arrangements approximated those of Bali, which makes this point with the grave irony of traditional wit.9 The Dutch, who wanted, for the usual administrative reasons, to get the boundary between two petty princedoms straight once and for all, called in the princes concerned and asked them where indeed the borders lay. Both agreed that the border of princedom A lay at the furthest point from which a man could still see the swamps, while the border of princedom B lay at the furthest point from which a man could still see the sea. Had they, then, never fought over the land in between, from which one could see neither swamp nor sea? "Mijnheer," one of the old princes replied, "we had much better reasons to fight with one another than these shabby hills."

 

In sum, nineteenth century Balinese politics can be seen as stretched taut between two opposing forces; the centripetal one of state ritual and the centrifugal one of state structure. On the one hand, there was the unifying effect of mass ceremonial under the leadership of this or that lord; on the other there was the intrinsically dispersive, segmental character of the polity considered as a concrete social institution, a power system, composed as it was of dozens of independent, semi-independent, and quarter-independent rulers.

 

The first, the cultural element, came from the top down, the center outward; the second, the power element, came from the bottom up and from the periphery inward. As a result, the broader the scope to which exemplary leadership aspired, the more fragile the political structure supporting it, for the more it was forced to rest on alliance, intrigue, cajolery and bluff. The lords, pulled on by the cultural ideal of the consummately expressive state, strove constantly to extend their ability to mobilize men and material so as to hold larger and more splendid ceremonies and larger and more splendid temples and palaces in which to hold them.

 

In so doing they were working directly against a form of political organization whose natural tendency, especially under intensified pressures for unification, was toward progressive fragmentation. But, against the grain or not, they struggled with this paradox of cultural megalomania and organizational pluralism to the very end, and not always without some degree of temporary success. Had not the modern world, in the form of Dutch battalions, at length caught up with them, they would, no doubt, be struggling with it still.

 

 

III

 

To redeem, now, my promise to generalize beyond the data, let me make two points in conclusion about the contribution of anthropology to a general comparative political science of peasant societies.

The first is that distinguishing the cultural ambitions of traditional states on the one hand and the social institutions in terms of which these cultural ambitions were, usually quite incompletely, realized on the other, makes for what we may call sociological realism. Professor Sutton's "base point" for understanding more recent developments becomes less a kind of retrospective ideal type, a model constructed to account for what its designer takes to be the more interesting features of the present, and more a historical reality rooted in its own time and place; the sort of thing out of which presents in the world, rather than merely in books, grow.

 

And second, this increase in sociological realism makes it possible to approach the central question in this area--what in fact are the relationships between the way in which New State polities behave and the way in which traditional ones behaved--without succumbing to either of two equally misleading (and, at the moment, equally popular) propositions: that contemporary states are the mere captives of their pasts, re-enactments in thinly modern dress of archaic dramas; or that such states have completely escaped their pasts, are absolute products of an age which owes nothing to anything but itself.

 

On the first point, it is apparent that the Balinese data, if they are as I say they are, support much better the segmentary state concept of traditional polities as consisting of unstable pyramids of power wreathed in symbols of a grandeur more wished for than achieved, than they do the "Despotic Power--Total and not Benevolent" vision of Wittfogel. But the question is not whether Wittfogel (who has been uncautious enough to quote Bali in support of his arguments) has given us a viable theory or not. I myself think not; but I don't want to try to counter assertions about China with facts about Bali. My argument is merely that in separating, as any close ethnographic study of actual traditional polities inevitably must separate, the ambitions of rulers, the ideas and ideals which pull them on toward some consummating end, from the social instrumentalities by means of which those ends are sought, anthropology contributes to the realization that, in traditional states as in modern ones, the reach of a politician is not quite the same thing as his grasp.

 

Thus stated, my message may seem the usual negative one for which anthropology is justly famous: "Not on Easter Island." In fact, I think the work on segmentary states, as well as that of the developmental archeologists, promises to make, has already made, an important contribution to a more just image of traditional polities, and along precisely the lines I have indicated. What Evans-Pritchard did for the Shilluk divine king (disentangled his ritual role from his political and thus dissolved at least one African despotism into its true fragility) and a host of scholars have done for the Maya (distinguished the splendid religious edifice of the society from the rather more ordinary sort of shifting cultivation community which underlay it, and thus resolved the paradox of Byzantium in a jungle) is going to be done, I am sure, for more and more traditional states with results which not only will not be negative but will transform our whole conception of the sources of power, the nature of authority, and the techniques of administration in such states.10

 

But, so far as the politics past, politics present question is concerned, my second point is the more significant. The conceptual separation of the ideas of order by which the actors in any polity are guided and the institutional context within which they act makes it possible to approach the issue of the relations between what once was and what now is with more than reversible truisms--"There is nothing in the present but the past"; "The past is a bucket of ashes"--to assist one. More specifically, it makes it possible to distinguish the ideological contribution to a contemporary state of the cultural traditions to which it is heir from the organizational contribution to such a state of the systems of government which preceded it, and to see that the former, the ideological contribution, is, with some exceptions, of much greater significance than the latter. As concrete governmental structures, today's Ghana, today's Indonesia, or even today's Morocco, have but the most distant of relations with the institutions of the Ashanti Confederation, the Javano-Balinese theatre-state, or that motley collection of bodyguards and tax farmers, the Magrebine Makhzen. But as embodiments of one or another view of what government and politics are all about, the relation between traditional states and transitional ones may be a great deal less distant than the borrowed vocabularies within which Third World ideologies are usually stated might lead one to believe.

 

ught politesse--dissolves, as it has in the majority of Third World states and doubtless will shortly in most of the rest, it comes to be replaced by a rather more abstract, rather more willed, and, in the formal sense of the term anyway, rather more reasoned set of notions concerning the nature and purpose of politics. Whether written down in a formal constitution, built into a new set of governmental institutions, or puffed up into a universal creed (or, as is not uncommon, all three), these notions, which I would call ideology in the proper sense of the term, play a similar role to the less-tutored, preideological ones they have succeeded. That is to say, they provide a guide for political activity; an image by which to grasp it, a theory by which to explain it, and a standard by which to judge it. This carrying forward into a more self-conscious, or anyway more explicit dimension, of what were once but established attitudes and received conventions is one of the central features of what we have come to call, half wistfully, half worriedly, "nation building."

 

All this is not to say that the ideological frameworks within which the Third World states operate are merely updated versions of the ideas and ideals of the past. Their elites have clearly learned much from other, quite nontraditional sources. Sukarno's close-up observation of the Japanese in action was probably the most revelatory experience of his career; we can assume that Nkrumah read at least some of those tracts his successors so demonstratively burned; and one has only to glance at the political publics of either India or Algeria to see that neither Harold Laski nor Jean-Paul Sartre have labored entirely in vain.

 

It is in fact just this confusion of the more recognizable voices of the present with the stranger, but no less insistent voices of the past which makes it so difficult to determine just what the politicians, civilian or military, of any particular Third World state think they are up to. At one moment they seem Jacobin beyond compare; at the next haunted by ghosts as ancient and unshakable as the furies. At one moment they seem to be so many self-taught Madisons and Jeffersons building ingenious political contrivances such as have never before been seen on land or sea; at the next, so many preening Mussolinis erecting inferior imitations of the more comic-opera examples of European Fascism. At one moment they seem confident possessors of a settled sense of direction, full of hope and high purpose; at the next frantic opportunists, swept by confusion, fear, and boundless self-hatred.

 

It will not do, however, either to plump for one or another side of these several antinomies or merely to announce sagely that they are antinomies, that both sides are indeed present and the situation is complex. The mingled voices must be distinguished so that we can hear what each of them is saying and assess the ideological climate, if not with very great assurance at least with some definiteness and circumstantiality.

 

In such an effort, the precise determination of the ideological contribution of politics past to politics present--in the case at hand, of exemplary leadership, waning charisma, and dramaturgical statecraft--is an essential element. And for the providing of this element, anthropology, to give one last rap on my drum, is ideally placed. At least it is if it can now remember what, on a Pacific island, it was so easy to forget: that it is not alone in the world.

Notes

1

F. X. Sutton, "Representation and the Nature of Political Systems," Comparative Studies in Society and History 2 ( 1959): 1-10.

2

K. Wittfogel, Oriental Despotism ( New Haven, 1957).

3

For a representative example of this line of thought, see A. Southall, Alur Society ( Cambridge, England, 1954).

4

R. Coulburn, ed., Feudalism in History ( Princeton, 1956). presents a useful review of such studies. For M. Bloch, see his Feudal Society ( Chicago, 1961).

5

S. M. Eisenstadt, The Political Systems of Empires ( New York, 1963); K. Polanyi, C. Arensberg, and H. Pearson, eds., Trade and Markets in Early Empires ( Glencoe, Ill., 1957).

6

For a survey and examination of such work, see R. Braidwood and G. Willey , Courses toward Urban Life ( New York, 1962). See also R. M. Adams, The Evolution of Urban Society ( New York/ Chicago, 1966).

7

R. Heine-Geldern, "Conceptions of State and Kingship in Southeast Asia," Far Eastern Quarterly 2 ( 1942): 15-30.

8

J. L. Swellengrebel, Introduction in J. L. Swellengrebel et al., Bali: Life, Thought and Ritual ( The Hague / Bandung, 1960).

9

V. E. Korn, Het Adatrecht van Bali ( The Hague, 1932), p. 440.

10

On the Shilluk: E. E. Evans-Pritchard, The Divine Kingship of the Shilluk of the Nilotic Sudan ( Oxford, 1948). The Maya discussion is more scattered and still developing, but for a useful summary, see G. Willey. "Mesoamerica," in Braidwood and Willey, Courses toward Urban Life, pp. 84 - 101.

 

 


Politics past, politics present: some notes on the uses of anthropology in understanding the new states, in: Archives Europ╚ennes de Sociologie, vol. 8 no.1 (1967), pp. 1-14


cf. The interpretation of cultures: selected essays, New-York/N.Y./USA etc. 1973: Basic Books, pp. 327-341


 

online source: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=52995835.

 


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